Kipras PETRAUSKAS, the great Lithuanian tenor
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The great Lithuanian tenor is the title of this long-overdue double CD-release. Melodya once issued a three Lp box and then a single Lp with his recordings and all are very hard to find but now his recordings covering the years 1920 to 1948 are available on CD and this release can’t be recommended enough. The first CD is devoted to the operatic repertoire (sung in Italian, Russian and Lithuanian), the second CD covers song repertoire. The packaging is splendid with a 32-page booklet containing an article on the tenor in Lithuanian and English, about 18 photographs and a full detailed discography. The recordings stem from the collection of Algirdas Motieka (bless those collectors) who is also responsible for the discography in the booklet. The operatic recordings include arias from Boheme, Tosca, Mignon, Faust, Onegin, Halka, Rigoletto, Pagliacci, Pique Dame, Cavalleria, La Juive, Ballo, Aida, Carmen, Traviata and Otello. 
Petrauskas was born in 1886 and he died in 1968. He stemmed from a musical family and it was his older brother the composer Mikas Petrauskas who was responsible for getting his younger brother on the track of becoming an opera singer. Petrauskas subsequently moved to Sint-Petersburg where continued his studies at the conservatory
The famous Sergej Levik in his memoirs (published by symposium and a must-read book) writes about Petrauskas’s  charming lyricism, natural artistic restraint, good taste and his  considerable musicianship which permeated every phrase he sang. Levik also states that Petrauskas’s excellent tenor became the idol of the public and that the soft timbre of his flexible voice made him even exceptional during appearances at examination concerts and in operatic concerts during his student days at the Sint-Petersburg conservatory where he studied under Stanislav Gabel. . In 1911 he made his debut at the Marienskij as Romeo. He then sang under the name of Cyprian Piotrosvky. He sang guest performances all over Europe with appearances in Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Milan and Prague but also in the US, Buenos Aires and Egypt. After WWII he couldn’t leave Lithuania anymore and he gave his farewell to the stage as Don Jose in Vilna in 1957. He then worked as a teacher and his most famous student was the successful tenor Virgilius Noreika. Kipras Petrauskas is Lithuania’s most eminent singer and was the possessor of an exceptional vocal talent as is clear from these CD’s. His brilliant, sonorous, yet melancholy and soothingly lyric-heroic tenor is amply displayed in these wonderful recordings.
A Mikas and Kipras Petrauskas museum in Kaunas was established in 1969 in the home of the two brothers and has all his memorabilia on display and is worthwhile a visit.
Kipras Petrauskas was a great tenor but also a great human being. In the spring of 1942, Petrauskas was asked to provide shelter for a six-month-old Dana Pomeranz, the daughter of a violinist Daniel Pomeranz, another famous musician in pre-war Lithuania. Petrauskas and his wife Elena Zalinkevicaite, a well-known actress and poet gave their agreement, and one day a baby girl was smuggled from the ghetto and brought to the Petrauskas’ home.Since the Petrauskas family was rather famous and many people interested in their private life, giving shelter to a Jewish baby was enormously risky for them. So after a short while they chose to leave the city. Together with the Jewish infant and their own three children, the family moved first to a village and then abroad. Throughout all these moves, the Petrauskases treated  little Dana with warmth and devotion. In 1947 when they returned to Lithuania, the Petrauskases located Dana’s parents and returned their daughter to them safe and sound. Like her biological father, Dana Pomeranz-Mazurkevich became a violinist. In 1999 Yad Vashem recognized Kipras Petrauskas and his wife as Righteous Among the Nations. Dana Pomeranz moved to Canada in 1974.

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The rescuer and the rescued child

The Cd’s are published by Prior Musica and can be ordered for a mere 20 euros by writing to